The Effect Of Eutrophication On A Body Of Water

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Eutrophication is the over-enrichment of nutrients in a body of water, due to runoff from the land, which causes a condensed growth of plant life. This occurrence also causes death of animal life from lack of oxygen (Oxford Dictionary, 2016). The nutrients that become overly abundant are nitrogen phosphorus which causes problems in most natural environments. The problems caused by this nutrient are hypoxia and harmful algae blooms. Hypoxia is the depletion of oxygen. If oxygen is taken out of the water where organisms live and breathe then they will die. Some marine life can move to different locations and obtain more oxygen. However, most marine life is immobile or slow moving and suffocates. Algae blooms are not always harmful, but when mixed with the nitrogen phosphorous they can cause marine life to die. The process of eutrophication is simple. Nutrients are released into the water systems, mainly by sewage or by fertilizer run off. This leads to the increase of algae growth and as the algae grows it dies. After the algae dies it is decomposed by bacteria that use oxygen as energy. This depletes the oxygen in the water and causes animal and plant life to die (World Resources Institute, 2008). In addition, eutrophication can produce other problems for the environment. Eutrophication decreased the ability for light to penetrate through the water’s surface. This decreased the rate in which plant life can grow. When plant life grown is stopped or slowed down, an ecosystems food chain can be damaged. If an ecosystems food chain is altered, then some animal and plant life will die out completely and others will be forced to change their sources of energy (Muir, 2012). Eutrophication does occur naturally, but most times eutrophica... ... middle of paper ... ... we did not know why or how to keep fish from dying. If this topic was brought to the forefront of social media and science classes, then people would be better educated about the subject. If we knew more about eutrophication we could help stop the rate at which it is occurring due to human involvement. To conclude, eutrophication cannot be prevented entirely, but as humans we can cut back on the activities that cause this occurrence. I understand that fertilizer is need to produce healthy yields to provide for American businesses and families, but we could create a fertilizer that would not lead to eutrophication. In addition, we could eliminate sewage run off into our water supply. If we could do both we could reduce eutrophication by half. In many cases, eutrophication could have easily been avoided, but because of lack of oversight and other issues it was not.

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